In 1775, when Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed through what we now call the Golden Gate, he stopped first at Crissy Field. But our Spanish seafarer soon wea- ried of the biting, persistent sea breeze that had blown him in and, realizing that he could escape
by crossing over to the opposite shore, he did. If he did not
actually utter “marvelous Marin,” he probably came close.
when Larry ellison’s team of sailors brought the America’s
Cup to the 60-by- 12 mile expanse of water that is San Francisco
Bay, there was no thought of placing the racecourse any where
but right in the maw of the Golden Gate wind funnel. when you
need to stage sailboat racing for spectators and TV, a persistent
breeze is a virtue. Few spots in the world have our summertime
winds, much less our from-any-shore spectator access and
spectacular backdrops. And for at least a while longer, we have
the America’s Cup, the oldest international competition in any
sport and surely the hardest to comprehend. Maybe we’ll take
a stab at that. But first, let’s share a little appreciation for that
sparkling, defining feature of the region, a roiling mixture of
salt water and freshwater that is 400 square miles on the surface at low tide, 460 square miles at high tide, and some two
trillion gallons in volume but, obviously, variable. Just think,
the next time you look at the bay, of one-sixth of all that water
going out, and in, t wice a day.
Dangers Above, Dangers Below
Last October 16, the outbound one-sixth of the San Francisco
Bay’s waters swept the overturned catamaran of ellison’s
Oracle Team USA under the bridge and out the Gate to what
homer would have called the gobbly sea. And so might we.
The whitecapped waves ate that boat’s wing alive. Yes, wing,
but let’s get back to talking about the bay.
You might be surprised that the first-ever study of
sharks in San Francisco Bay is now under way, funded and
led by researchers from the Bay Institute and Aquarium
of the Bay, focused on sevengill sharks. The animals are